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The Learning Exchange 70's
The Case for Decentralized Connected Learning

In May of 1971, two college students at Northwestern University named Denis Detzel and Robert Lewis who were inspired by Ivan Illich’s book “Deschooling Society” gathered a small group of students and local community members and founded The Learning Exchange. The Learning Exchange was later described by John McKnight (the founder of Asset-Based Community Development) as a local capacity listing and referral service.

The most simple local capacity listing and referral service consists of a method of gathering information; an information input, storage, and retrieval system; an individual or group who manages the information; and some method of public access to the information. To use the service, area residents who want to teach, learn, or share their interests simply contact the organization and indicate the kind of educational or recreational relationship they would like to develop with another individual or group. This information is then recorded, categorized, stored, and used to refer individuals to one another: teachers are referred to learners, learners are referred to teachers, and people with similar interests are referred to each other. Follow ups are made, and feedback is given about each experience.

The Learning Exchange started in 1971 with $25 which paid for printing and distributing 1,000 fliers. At the end of the first week, a total of three people had registered. By the end of the first year, they had a total of 1,000. Ten years later, Detzel and company had roughly 30,000 local participants in The Learning Exchange all teaching and learning from each other in Greater Chicago, both in small groups and as individuals. The amazing technology they used consisted of 3×5 handwritten notecards and a telephone.

The individuals’ information was kept on notecards to keep track of what skills they can teach and what they want to learn, and members would call in to search or update. Thousands on thousands of matches were made, all matched individually by hand. People who want to learn how to knit, speak Spanish, ride a unicycle– thousands on thousands of lessons went on in one-on-one settings and small groups taught by others in The Learning Exchange community. Their organization got members to sign up and pay for member status to keep it going, grossing about $100,000 annually. Overall, the organization was a huge success when it came to meeting the needs of the community, yet it was discontinued after ten years and sold to a classroom outfit called The Learning Center.

Mandy Testing
Q: What type of visa do I have?
Liberal: As long as you’re attractive in a way that doesn’t uphold the narrow Eurocentric ideals of beauty, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Conservative: If you get a visa, the government is wasting money, if you don’t get a visa, the government is wasting money. No visas, just gun rights.
Independent: You should know what type of visa you have but most likely it’s an F-1 visa. All of the restrictions and details can be found with (USCIS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Number One on Keyboard
Math Logic Tutor Deficiencies
When a math logic tutor finds themselves in huge demand, then you know something’s up. Since 2008, when the current economic depression in the western world got on its feet, Americans have been told that companies would like to hire them, but they’re not educated, smart, experienced, or technically trained enough for serious 21st century occupations. Apparently there’s a huge gap when it comes to demand and eligible workers with the necessary skills.

In response, parents are trying harder than ever to adapt to changing career training methodologies, and give their children an edge. Suddenly, online education has exploded in popularity. Kids are able to log in online and talk to their reading assistant, homework partner, or math logic tutor directly from their rooms. Their parents are disillusioned with traditional higher education, and online resources are showing to be as effective, at a fraction of the cost.

Shift Dynamics of Education in the West

Recently the public was told that an economic investment tool or vehicle that goes by the name of Credit Default Swaps was to blame from brining the free market to its knees. No one knew what that was, until some math professors published the algorithm of one online. Basically, it’s an algebraic formula that goes on for miles that barely a fraction of the human species can understand.

Whether we’re talking economics, or the recent resurgence in space exploration, if people want their children to have a chance to get in on the action when they’re older, they must learn advanced math. That’s where the online and easily accessible math logic tutor comes in. Why should this person go through the hassle of dealing with the traditional college world when they can make as much money if not more being employed by the digital one?

Worldwide Perpetual Math Olympics

Every major country in the world recognizes where the future is taking us, and behind every major invention, technological advancement, or medical miracle, there’s math. The lull in math education in the west has caused a trough in the workforce the size of the Grand Canyon. Now everyone is scrambling to get American Math test scores higher and higher to compete.

The educational system of the future will be based more on contemporary needs than the ancient Grecian model; one where children get basic education at a young age, but then must soon pick a vocational direction that involves intense specific technical training.

Every math logic tutor from New York to Seattle is going to find themselves caught up in a worldwide perpetual intellectual Olympics where through the virtual realm, they are asked to train kids from Bangkok to Brazil.

However, this also means that demands for a high quality math logic tutor will push prices upward. Then, yet again modern peoples will find themselves grinding against fiscal paradigms that have been kicking dirt in the face of human progression for far too long. The sooner we can get past interest, debt, and flat currency, the better.

Photo Credit: John Lester

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